Badger Shield wins award for social impact

// College of Engineering

Photo of Badger Shield

The Badger Shield. Photo courtesy of Grainger Engineering Design Innovation Lab (makerspace) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Badger Shield, the open-source face shield created by University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers in partnership with design consulting firm Delve and local manufacturer Midwest Prototyping, has earned a 2021 Gold Award for Social Impact Design from the Industrial Designers Society of America.

The collaborative effort came in response to the critical shortage of personal protective equipment among healthcare providers in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of an automated online platform devised by UW-Madison industrial engineers, the project grew to eventually connect more than 400 manufacturers, including the likes of Apple and Ford, producing 2 million face shields a day.

The group also designed a modified version of the shield, the Badger Shield+, with surgical fabric at the bottom to filter virus particles as a viable alternative to masks for workers whose job requires having their faces visible, such as speech and language pathologists and sign language interpreters.

Read more about COVID-19-related projects and access open-source designs on the UW Makerspace’s website.

Author: Tom Ziemer